AT 10.00 ON 18/1/2024, AT MY POND HOTEL

Present:Wouter HensensClinton MillardMichael Wilmot
 Mandy RoesstorffEd GutscheLauren Meyer
 Robin HydeIan StorerCarey Webster
 Hyman van ZylLesley TheunissenJustin Bekker
Apologies:Sxeaks NkwintiQawe MampanaDawie van Wyk
 Justin BesterLindsay Luppnow (and resignation)  Jo Wilmot  
Absent:Ndlambe RepresentativeChris RobertsClaire Wright
  Secretary:  Sue Waugh, Tourism Manager  
  1. Welcome and apologies:  Wouter Hensens welcomed all present. Apologies received from Dawie van Wyk and apologies and a resignation from Bathurst representative Lindsay Luppnow. A board meeting was not held on the 14th December as the season had started.

Additions to Agenda:  Other:      7 a Bathurst (Wouter Hensens)

7 b Centenary Park (Lesley Theunissen)

7 c Networking Evening (Wouter Hensens)

4 a       Community Involvement: Hyman van Zyl said that his office was closed from the 15th December until the 15 January, 2024. They have started their planning for the new year.

Their website is now updated and shows recruitment opportunities, and projects; their social media is publicising work and skills-transfer opportunities. He mentioned that he is working on plan to have an internship system with local businesses so that newly trained people/people looking for work can gain experience in the workplace.

The NGO Forum is currently low on staff and funding.

4 b       Marketing, Communications, Membership combined with Events:  Ed Gutsche said that the committee had held 3 meetings this year before the board meeting.

Social media – Jenn Schoultz compiled a report for the last 3 months (Oct, Nov, Dec). The added expenditure that the Board previously approved, for boosting online advertising, is working and engagement is up. He recommended that Jenn Schoultz’s contract be renewed for another 6 months as social media marketing for the March/April season was critical.

The Board voted and all approved the extension of Jenn Schoultz’s (Digital Dandelions) contract.

Corporate Sponsors – Ed said that the plan he and Lauren Meyer had was to gain 12 Corporate Sponsors for 2024; an additional Sponsor made the final total 13 Sponsors paying R5 000pa each (R3 500 towards events etc. and R1 500 towards membership).

Membership – Lauren Meyer said that Tourism needed a proper database with all the paid-up members listed. This would ensure that they would be invited to all networking events/boost attendance. She asked if the Membership application was available in PDF/Word format (Note: It is.). Wouter suggested that calling members may ensure a personal commitment to their attending events.

4 c       Project – 28th December – Kowie River Festival – It was hoped that a Kowie River Swim and Anything that Floats would make for a great combined event on the Kowie river. The band, paid for by Tourism, originally to provide music outside for people to enjoy, was forced to play in Tash’s Restaurant due to bad weather. But this ensured that the venue was full and well supported by visitors seeking shelter.

The event raised R5 000 which was donated to NSRI.

Ed proposed the 2024 event will be bigger and better to attract more people to town.

Easter Festival – 28-31 March, 2024 – Justin Bekker spoke about the successful GromSearch Rip Curl Surfing competition* held early in 2023 and which the Royal St Andrews Hotel had sponsored. He contacted the organisers again about a possible sponsorship in 2024.

*This is one of the biggest surfing competitions in the country offering R3 million-worth of media/print advertising. The 2024 Surfing Competition is set to be bigger than last year’s event – with 3 main events -The GromSearch, The Rip Curl Trophy and the SA Championship Body Boarding Competition.

Justin said that it was felt that the event could become bigger/be an Umbrella Event and include other sports to make it the Port Alfred Easter Festival. Other sports/events suggested: a Sunshine Coast Golf Day, Music – live bands/singers, Kowie River Swim, Fun Run, Fun Cycle Race (participants could do a “triathlon” if they wished), a NSRI demonstration, Rock & Surf Fishing Competition, and Tennis & Bowls Competitions. Each competition/ could have a local champion and anyone can enter or sponsor these competitions/events.

He mentioned that he had obtained the easterfestival.co.za domain for this project. Jenn Schoultz to start by sharing information and logos.

4 d       Town Beautification –  Wouter mentioned that this issue seemed to be a temporary project (not a Sub-Committee) and could possibly be integrated with the Security Sub-Committee (with Lesley Theunissen and Clinton Millard).

Clinton said that crime statistics over December were lower than last year. Good police visibility.

Everyone agreed that the Municipality had done a great job in keeping the beaches, Guido’s car park and the Krantz clean. Wouter suggested certificates of appreciation be given to the Municipality/SAPS etc.

4 e       Kowie Museum – Mandy Roesstorff said that a meeting was held in early December with museum volunteers and the PA Lions Club. Tenancy is an issue. All work is done by volunteers.

Ren Mouton organised a Scavenger Hunt to get feet through the door in December and to support the Mini Train. Out of 3 correct entries, 1 person was chosen as the winner.

It is a work in progress.

4 f        Special Projects – Nothing to report.

5.         Financials – Mandy Roesstorff outlined the expenses for December – R10 000 was spent on the Kowie River Festival and R3 000 spent on the painting of the Lifeguard hut at Kelly’s beach. Income was standard for the month. The usual stipend was paid to Kenton.

The membership list has been updated and the Corporate Sponsors have been added. Statements/invoices to be done at the end of January. The membership fees are payable now (membership runs from January to December).

Insurance – has come up for renewal. Edge Finance was the cheaper option by R600. Letters to be sent out today to both old and new insurers.

6.         Urgent issues – None

7.         Other

7 a       Bathurst – Wouter mentioned that he and Sue Waugh went to see Fred and Carla Bright at Kingston Farm to talk about Tourism in Bathurst (referred by Lindsay Luppnow). Bathurst needs a coordinated strategy to bring people together to promote the local tourism experience.

7 b       Centenary Park – Lesley Theunissen said that Centenary Park was a mess of papers and rubbish with people illegally camping in tents (no ablutions). The overall look was not a positive one for Port Alfred.

Clinton Millard explained the situation and said it was a sensitive issue that was being handled accordingly.

Wouter suggested that we may need a Security Sub-Committee.

7 c       Networking Evening – It was agreed that the event be held on the 30th January. Need to advertise on social media. Send invitations to members only? It was decided to send to all and that this would be the last open event for non-members. Application forms to be made available on the night.

Meeting closed at 11.28                                              

Next Meeting: 8 February